Hi Raiders Fans,
I am not a Raider's fan, but I do follow them with interest (and you are my Madden Dynasty of choice every year). I am especially interested in watching the team attempt to rebuild.
RM's rebuild attempts, starting with last years draft, seem strong to me. Unlike many, I think the Raiders did a good job in the 2013 draft. And I was wondering if my feelings on this year's Raider's class matched the Fan Base. Much of the talent shortage on the roster is legacy, and it will be interesting to see if The Throwaways approach can bridge the gap until a few drafts rebuild the talent base.
1) Khalil Mack -- I thought was a high floor stud going into the draft. Along with Aaron Donald, he looks like a prospect that will be an impact defender from day 1 until retirement or injury stop him. Technically sound at everything, he had no business being there at pick 5. Watching his film is incredible because he is so rarely blocked cleanly (and often when he does, like at the Baylor game, it was when he was turning direction to catch a player that the rest of Buffalo's defense had allowed to head to the races). With professional talent around him on a field, I expect his impact to only improve. He also plays good DLine on pass downs (as an edge rusher or 3 tech. Will be really funny to watch him line up at the 3tech against one of the many teams who fields Replacements quality guards).
2) Derek Carr
I had Derek Carr as my number 1 bust pick, and expected him to go Brown, where careers go to die. However, I did not count on his landing in Oakland, in rd 2. I think Greg Olsen is a Quarterback whisperer par excellence (if he thought Josh Freeman was as good as his numbers, he'd be in Silver and Black already), and Derek Carr does have alot of arm to work with. He certainly looks the part:
He's the kindof player where his highlight reel will really misguide people. His problems are in pocket awareness, dealing with pressure, and making good decisions in broken plays. His upside is a big fat, powerful arm. Most NFL coaches are not setup to turn this situation to anything positive (Schottenheimer would turn him into crap faster than you can say Mark Sanchez). However, Olsen is not most QB coaches. If there is anywhere that Carr can shine, learn to diminish his mistakes and make big plays, Oakland is the spot.
Further, back to that monster arm. Oakland has Andre Holmes, a 6'4 nightmare outside matchup problem who can only really be utilized by a team with a big armed QB. While I think that hurts MM, and really hurts Shaub, it should massively help Mr. Carr if he can get it together enough to hit the field.
On balance, Carr had about 1 NFL starting job that he could thrive in, and he got a shot at it. If he can reach his rookie year potential, it will be great for both him and the Raiders.
3) Gabe Jackson
What deal was made with the devil that RM could trade down in Rd 3 and still grab a round 2 prospect in round 3?
While Will Sutton would also have been a match for need and talent, Gabe is a great, great pick.. here's a fun pick of him doing what he does best:
4) Justin Ellis and Keith McGill
I liked McGill and think Round 4 is when teams should start taking serious risks in injury and character risks to try and land a stud (in this case, injury risk). He was probably a rd 2-3 prospect in last years draft.
I know nothing about Ellis, other than he looks huge and dominated inferior talent. When veteran GMs go out and grab players like that before rd 6, it is usually a sign of good things to come. I am hopeful
I liked the Raiders draft, expect Menelik and DJ back fulltime for the year, and hope that RM starts getting some credit for acquiring talent and restocking the roster. I would like to know your thoughts.